A-Class Driving School's Online Driving Tutorial -
Pedestrian Crossings

Zebra Crossings

Maybe you'll see a warning triangular sign (image 1) but this is unlikely, unless the crossing is new or hidden, or long hazard lines on the road. In either case, the first thing you must do is check your interior mirror because you may have to reduce your speed.

Next you must scan and plan. Look either side of the crossing for pedestrians and come up with a plan. If no one is there, you won't have to reduce your speed. Be sure not to increase your speed.

If you see people wanting to cross, then progressively reduce your speed and come to a stop just in front of the white stop lines on the road. If the pedestrian is old, slow or there are lots of them then be prepared to use the handbrake. This is a precautionary measure for cars shunting you from behind onto the crossing. NEVER wave people across; you could be beckoning them into danger.

If the pedestrian is crossing from right to left, then you would have to wait for them to clear the crossing and get onto the pavement before moving off. If they are walking from left to right, then you only have to wait for them to clear your lane (Image 2).  I'd wait until they are about 2/3 of the way across, just to be safe.

If there is an island in the middle of the zebra crossing (image 3), then this is treated as two separate crossings and you won't have to stop for someone on the pavement crossing from right to left.

Make sure you never park on the zigzag lines or overtake the lead motorised vehicle. In slow moving traffic make sure you never stop and block the crossing (image 4).


Traffic Light Crossing

Hybrid - like at crossroads. These are on a timer and sequenced.

Pelican - The ones with the flashing amber lights.

Puffin - These have infra-red sensors on the top to detect pedestrians.

Toucan - These have been specially designed for pedestrians and cyclists.

Which ever type you see, the same rules apply. Mirror check on approach, scan and plan, be prepared to reduce your speed. Remember that red, red and amber, and solid amber all mean STOP! Green means go -only if it's clear.
Pelican crossings (image 5) are the exception where the flashing amber means go if clear too. You usually find these in busy areas with heavy traffic as it allows the cars to flow a little easier.

Puffin crossings are easily spotted from a distance with the cameras on top of them. When you scan and plan, if you spot a person about to press the button, the lights will change within seconds, so forward planning is essential here. Once they have cleared the crossing, the cameras senses this and within four seconds the lights will change again, be prepared to make progress.

With the toucan crossings (image 6), just be aware that cyclists can come from nowhere, so perhaps look a little further up and down the pavement for them.

If there is an island in the middle of a traffic light controlled crossing, it's still one crossing. Unless it is staggered (image 7), then it is two crossings.

Other crossings also exist and you must apply the same rules - Pegasus (image 8) and lollipop 'person' crossing.

pedestrian crossing sign
pedestrian crossing
pedestrian crossing with island
dont stop on a pedestrian crossing
pelican crossing
toucan crossing